Saturday, March 11, 2006

India blasts liberal US.. "thankfully, there's Bush"

Fear of the foreign
US liberals think India can be irresponsible;
Dubai, dangerous. Thankfully, there’s Bush

The Indian Express

The subtle fallout from Congressional and media stubborness, pride and political shenanigans on the P&O port sale to DP World continues to rain down... slowly, but steadily. India, watching the unlikely bond between liberal America and aggressive conservatives quibble not only over the ports deal, but the recent nuclear agreement between the US and India, have a few harsh words for our elected ones.

India, and the rest of the world, witnessed thoughtless comments (Schumer... can the UAE be "trusted"?) and hysteria-driven response (Hillary legislation to ban all foreign gov't owned or held port ops in the US) to what is essentially wise economic policy and strengthening ties to a part of the world where we desperately need business and intel partners.

As Daniel Ikenson, trade policy analyst at the free-market Cato Institute, aptly put it, Congress had staged "an embarrassing display of the ascent of politics over rationality in Washington".

India has seen first hand what a desperate Congress, with even lower poll numbers for confidence among US voters than Bush, is capable of doing to foreign policy. And their press isn't mincing words about the perception of racism exhibited by US elected officials.

(In contrast,) Bush’s critics have either been xenophobic (on the ports deal) or myopic (on the nuclear deal). Liberal America’s commentariat and the politicians it loves have joined aggressive conservatives in condemning the ports deal because it doesn’t address “security concerns”. This is rubbish insofar as it prejudges a company simply by the fact that it is Arab.

Liberal American politicians and commentators are also quibbling over why India should be allowed a nuclear deal when the letter of NPT is being violated. This is silly because it’s the spirit of nuclear cooperation that Bush is after — getting the so far stand-alone India on-board in all future nuclear diplomacy. Does any Bush critic seriously believe that the White House would have backed these deals if it had thought Dubai Ports World will ship in terrorists, or that an almost de facto nuclear power like India will encourage proliferation?

Since the answer is obvious, so is this conclusion: right now we can hear some small-minded, prejudiced people in Washington, but they don’t live in the White House.

Oddly enough, Bush may not be popular in the US after the onslaught of a Congressional and media misinformation campaign, but he comes out smelling like a rose in the eyes of India.


You have to admire the Bush’s political guts for backing these deals, knowing there’ll be harsh critics, from the right, the left and the centre. More important, you have to admire Bush’s political nous — he’s right on both the issues.


What divides Bush from his critics is that the president has the big picture in mind. He wants the Dubai company to manage US ports because it won the contract fair and square, because — even critics don’t dispute this —it will raise efficiency and because having an Arab company running US installations sends out a hugely positive message to the very people whose views on the US are the dimmest. He wants

India to have the nuclear deal because India, despite being a non-NPT signatory, has never proliferated, because it’s a wealth-creating democracy — as opposed to wealth-creating one-party autocracies — and because the US will win a key ally over the medium term.

Well isn't this a turn of events.... the Cowboy President - the same one who Congress has consistently accused of destroying America's image in the eyes of the international community - has more respect from our fragile allies than Congress members themselves. That ought to drive them crazy....

Of course the obvious danger of this is that a President is limited to terms, while Congressional members are the epitome of the Energizer Bunny - they never go away, and never stop. This means that the very entity that has single handedly done more to damage US relationships with Muslim allies than the Iraq war could ever do, retains the ability to further offend and erode our intel and economics with Muslim nations for decades to come.

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